The Starfish Way
At Starfish Volunteers we believe in enriching lives through responsible travel. As soon as you begin your travel adventure with us you will be assisting in developing the local community through your chosen project. All of the experiences that we offer have been carefully selected to not only ensure that they benefit the community, but also to give you a lasting lifetime experience and memories.
We operate at a grassroots level, in-country, so that we can continue to offer you the best travel adventures out there. For us, responsible travel is not just another empty promise, it is at our very core. Maintaining and preserving the environment and contributing to local communities is part of everything that we do – from supporting local schools to using local transport wherever practical. We care passionately about community development and our travel experiences aim to meet the current and future needs of local communities. Many of our experiences include hands-on volunteer projects that give you the opportunity to make a real difference to the communities you spend time in.
Your unforgettable experience awaits
You will develop new friendships that will stay with you for a lifetime. Immerse yourself in local Asian cultures; giving you the experience that the average tourist and backpackers do not get. Gain invaluable experiences and countless opportunities when you connect and learn from local people during your volunteer adventures. We provide a balance of meaningful work, with giving you the time to explore or relax at local sites.
We provide experienced, friendly in-country 24-hour travel support. Our dedicated, locally based, teams are experienced volunteer and travel devotees, which ensures you that your trip will run smoothly and you will have an unforgettable time.
Young, fun tour guides
You do not have to be boring to provide exceptional customer service. Our young at heart, fun tour guides provide local insights and offer a unique personal perspective to your trip.
Our unforgettable travel experiences offer great value for anyone wanting to travel while still contributing to the world we live in.
Our trips offer a unique basic but comfortable range of homestays, volunteer houses, and local guesthouses which allow you to experience the local communities while still being safe and comfortable.
We like to use local means of getting around, such as local buses, tuk-tuks, ferries and boats. Where necessary however, we may use private vehicles to make journeys quicker and more flexible.
Starfish has a large number of rewarding experiences delivering a positive social impact in Asia. Volunteers have the opportunity to teach English, support Government child care centers, build, join medical programs and/or work with elephants.
Starfish organises programs in Thailand, Burma and India.
In Thailand Starfish has three volunteer locations all offering quite different but equally rewarding experiences.
Surin is in the heart of Isan, NE Thailand, and where Starfish was founded in 2003. Surin is know for elephants and rice. There are believed to be about 300 domestic elephants and almost 1 million acres of rice fields. During rice planting and harvesting the local area is just beautiful. Surin is Thailand's third poorest province and our projects support local Thai rural communities.
Sangklaburi is in West Thailand, only 35kms from the Thai-Burma border. Sangklaburi town is set on a 72km lake surrounded by mountains, rivers and many local waterfalls. Sangklaburi is now one of Lonely Planet's top ten destinations. A truly picture postcard location. Sangklaburi district is a mixture of Thai, Burmese and Hill Tribe people. The local Burmese and Hill Tribe communities are stateless, not having Thai citizenship. This can lead to many difficulties such as obtaining free healthcare, education and legal work. Starfish projects support the local stateless communities.
Samui our final location is famed for its beaches and one of the most popular tourist islands. However there are many disadvantaged impoverished local people. Starfish supports a community of these people in the SW corner of the island through programs at the local school and child care center.
Burma is new for 2014, and we are all very excited by expansion into Burma. Starfish has carefully selected Pathien (6hrs West of Yangoon) as its first volunteer location. The local town is located on a major river used for shipping. It is a vibrant town and renowned for its handmade parasoles. Starfish wishes to support local Goverment schools and child care centers with more projects in planning.
Pathien is only 1.5hrs from Burma's unspoilt West coast. Very easy to reward yourself with weekends at the beach.
India Starfish has two volunteer locations; Delhi and Palampur. These locations could not be more different. Delhi is a bustling busy vibrant city with Palampur being a rural mountain town. In both locations Starfish project work supports the disadvantaged and impoverished communities.
Starfish provides houses for our volunteers. Volunteers share with each other. A typical house will have a shared bathroom, shared living area and kitchen, 3-4 bedrooms organised a twins or triples. All bedding is provided. Cleaners attend the property once a week, however volunteers are expected to keep the property clean during their stay.
This constant water, dependable electric and hot water. Interent and Wifi has been ordered, expecting installation for Jan 2014.
Starfish was founded in 2003. In the last ten years Starfish has made a positive social impact in numerous disadvantaged rural Thai communities. In 2009 our program base was expanding to support Karen and Burmese communities living in Thailand along with Thai-Burma border. There are many stateless commmunities in need of sustainable development to ensure their long term success.
In 2011 Starfish, over 14 weeks engaging many different groups of volunteers, completed a water pipeline in Sangklaburi district, Kanchanaburi Province. The water pipe now delivers water all year round to a village of 130 families. Previously villages hard to trek to the water source during the dry season.